Our Design Process – ARCHIVE

Design Enhancing Life in just 4 Steps
Our Services Explained

Best Design + Best Execution = The Ideal Home

Creating the ideal new home or renovation is the result of a great design being beautifully executed.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than to see a stunning design being poorly built, which is why we offer a full range of Project Management Services for you to choose from.

Our Project Management Services allow you to choose the level of assistance that you need; everything from engaging us to create a stunning Sketch Design for your project right through to overseeing the entire building process and every step in between. No matter what your needs we offer the ideal service to get you a great result.

Here is an overview of the services that we offer:

 

How to Begin

The first step is for you to contact our office. One of our friendly staff will then ask you a few basic questions. If Dion is available at this time then your call will be transferred to him, so that you can talk with him in person.

The next step in the process is to undertake one of our architectural discovery pre-design services.  These are oral consultations that are designed to give us a greater understanding of what you want to get out of your project.  This step does not include any drawings or plans, but is instead a crucial part of the planning process where you get the chance to discuss your project with us in detail.  There are three different consultations available depending on your individual goals.

Our Q&A 35 is a free renovation and custom build Q&A road map session with Dion at his office. This session will help you understand the process of what you need to do and when you’ll need to do it.

Our Design Options Advice is suitable for those people who are looking to renovate their current home or build a custom new home and who are looking for design ideas and advice on building costs. The service looks at your current lifestyle or investment needs and building budgets and looks at the various ways to achieve these outcomes – we think laterally for your benefit. This option is suitable for people planning to stay in the property shorter term, 3 to 7 years.

Our third service is our Lifestyle Design Options Assessment or Pre-Purchase Design Options Assessment The Lifestyle Design Options Assessment or Pre-Purchase Design Options Assessment is ideal for those people who are looking to renovate their current home, purchase an existing home or build new and who are looking for ideas and advice on building costs. The service looks at your current lifestyle or investment needs and building budgets and looks at the various ways to achieve these outcomes – we think laterally for your benefit.

Dion will explain the investment that is involved with your consultation. You will then be sent a questionnaire to complete prior to meeting with Dion at your property. This will ensure that you get the maximum value from this meeting.

 

Design Enhancing Life in just 4 steps

 

STEP 1: Architectural Discovery Pre-Design Services

Obviously there are no drawings at this stage, they come in Step 2, this is purely an assessment, a chance for you to meet us and for us to gain a better understanding of your goals and what it is you want to achieve.

If you are looking for an initial understanding of where to begin and what the process may be, you will most likely be coming in for our Q&A35, which is a free 35 minute renovation and custom build Q&A road map session with Dion in our offices. Click here for more information or to book.

If you are looking to renovate your current home or build a new custom home and only plan to live there shorter term (3-7 years), then you will probably have chosen our Essentials Design Options Assessment. Click here for more information or to make an enquiry.

If you are looking to renovate your current home, purchase a new home or build a new custom home, then you will probably have chosen a Lifestyle Design Options Assessment or a Pre-Purchase Design Options Assessment. These consultations are up to three hours long and look at your current lifestyle or investment needs and building budgets as well as your future lifestyle needs.  Click here for more information or to make an enquiry.

Dion is not only a gifted architect, he is also a registered builder, giving him the unique ability to design the perfect home to suit your lifestyle. Depending on the consultation you have chosen, Dion may:

  • Look closely at your lifestyle needs
  • Discuss your design ideas
  • Offer expert design solutions that may better suit your budget/needs
  • Assess your budgets and give a rough estimate of cost
  • Give you a ballpark indication of approval process & timelines

Once everyone is in agreement and you are happy for Dion Seminara Architecture to advance your project, you will then be offered a standard agreement to sign, so that Dion can proceed with the Sketch Design of your home.

PLEASE NOTE: A small investment is involved in your Architectural Discovery Pre-Design Service which covers the expert advice that Dion will be providing you. This investment will be credited against your Sketch Design investment should you proceed to that stage immediately after the Discovery Pre-Design Service.

The Dion Seminara Architecture Advantage:

Choosing to have Dion Seminara design your home is a wise decision. Our wealth of experience is complimented by our exceptional design skills. As a result of our great designs the value of your project will be significantly enhanced financially and in terms of overall liveability. Our designs may also offer you significant savings on the total cost of your project and will offer you life long saving with regard to the running cost of your home.

 

STEP 2: Architectural Design Services

Throughout the design process you have the choice to be involved as much or as little as you want.  At the start of each step we consult you to align with your needs.  At the completion of each stage we ask you to review the design and provide feedback. This communication process continues until your project is complete.

2a: Measured Drawings

If you are renovating, we will first need to get measured drawings done of your home and will organise a surveyor to supply spot levels and contours.

2b: Sketch Design Service

This is the point where you begin to see your dreams take shape as we combine Building Architecture + Interiors + Landscape to create a lifestyle enhancing design for your home.

From small yards to big yards your external space is just as important as the interior of your home. As part of our Sketch Design process we will consider all spaces within the boundaries of your site. In this service we will detail those elements which make up your space. This could include determination of grassed areas, paved areas, garden areas or a pool zone; an outdoor entertainment zone or a BBQ space.

Things like fencing, screening, garden edging, gatehouses, water-storage units, solar collection units, landscape stairs, water features, driveways and paths are all covered as part of this service. At Dion Seminara Architecture we understand that it all counts when creating a lifestyle home that will work for you.

At the start of this concept stage of the process we create a Sketch Design based on the design brief that was agreed upon during your one on one consultation. As part of this process you will receive:

  • Written summary of your requirements
  • Concept floor plan, potentially including external works design (hand drawn)
  • Project report & opinion of cost by our estimator
  • Optional external works design

Once this stage is completed we will then present the design to you.

After you have spent some time reviewing our proposal, we will invite you to progress to Step 2c and beyond, depending on your needs. We will then complete any concept revisions as needed, before moving onto the next phase – creating your final detailed design.

2c: Design Development (including Concept Revisions)

As the name suggests, this phase is where we make any alterations and/or concept revisions to the initial Sketch Design.  This phase includes the development of more detailed floor plans, section drawings (for sloping sites) and 3D visuals. Your design will now have been fully refined to give you the visual and lifestyle goals that you set out to achieve.

Once completed we will present this for your review.

2d: Development Application Drawings (if required)

If your project requires town planning approval, development application drawings will now be prepared. We will co-ordinate and instruct our town planner on your behalf to co-ordinate the submission to the relevant local authority and assist in the management of the application through to approval.

 

STEP 3: Architectural Documentation

 

3a: Pre-Building Application Drawings

The next step is to prepare your building application drawings. Your building application drawings are required in order to gain building approval.

3b: Extent of Works & Independent Estimate

This is an optional service to obtain a detailed cost estimate from our independent estimator.  To ensure adequate detail is included, we prepare our extent of works report.

Our extent of works report includes a breakdown of:

  • A general overview of the work to be undertaken
  • Type and style of flooring and/or floor coverings
  • Type and style of wall materials and finish
  • Type and style of roof and roofing materials
  • Type and style of windows and/or window screens
  • Type and style of doors and door fittings
  • An overview of the proposed interior fit out
  • A detailed electrical schedule indicating placement of power points, light fittings etc.
  • An allowance for plumbing fittings and fixtures
  • Extent of painting required
  • A list of Prime Cost and Provisional Sum items

After your review of this report, we will arrange the independent estimate of cost.

3c: Architectural Construction Drawings & Specification

Your detailed construction drawings are the drawings that your builders will be using during construction and are therefore vital to the success of your project. Not all companies provide the level of detail that is required to ensure accurate quoting and ease of construction.

A lack of detail can lead to costly mistakes which is why we take the time to ensure that your construction drawings contain not only a high degree of detail, but also precise specifications.

Your detailed drawings will typically consist of full dimensioned small and large scaled drawings, along with detailed written information that covers materials, relevant details and construction directions. It may also include some provisional sums to outline budget allowances for particular items.

3d: Coordination of all Sub-Consultants

We coordinate all of your sub-consultants and submit your paperwork for approval, to save you time and effort. Potential sub-consultants include:

  • Surveyor
  • Estimator
  • Building Certifier
  • Structural Engineer
  • Hydraulic Consultant
  • Garden Designer
  • Other speciality consultants if development approval is required or your project is detailed and complex

3e: Interior Design Construction Drawings & Schedules

We offer a complete and integrated design service which includes an in house comprehensive interior design service. Our qualified and experienced interior designer works with spatial volume and furnishings within an area to give you the result that you desire. Interior design is both a science and an art, and it is one that we have perfected.

This service may include consideration of your storage needs, including the complete design of your kitchen, bathrooms, ensuites, laundries, media rooms, entertainment units, studies, robes and / or wine cellars and all important lighting and electrical layouts. Whether you would like to ‘build in’ your entertainment unit; fit out a cellar; create a BBQ area or an outdoor kitchen, we have the solutions and the skills to supply the design, all perfectly detailed, to ensure all parts of your home blend seamlessly together.

We can also assist you with a complete colour scheme, as well as helping with selections on everything from tiles and plumbing fittings and fixtures right down to light fittings and window furnishings. No matter what your needs, we can supply you with a complete interior design package, or simply components of this service depending on your requirements. Our interior designer is also happy to help you with your interior decorating needs and can assist you in selecting the most suitable furnishings for your home.

3f: External Works Design Construction Drawings

From small yards to big yards your external space is just as important as the interior of your home. As part of our Sketch Design process we will consider all spaces within the boundaries of your site.

In this service we will detail those elements which make up your space. This could include determination of grassed areas, paved areas, garden areas or a pool zone; an outdoor entertainment zone or a BBQ space. We detail each area so that your builder will then be able to construct these parts in perfect unison with your home.

Things like fencing, screening, garden edging, gatehouses, water-storage units, solar collection units, landscape stairs, water features, driveways and paths are all covered as part of this service. At Dion Seminara Architecture we understand that it all counts when creating a lifestyle home that will work for you.

3g: Leesa Seminara Garden Design

If you would like assistance with plant selection we can arrange for our sub-consultant Leesa Seminara Garden Design to provide an advice service in order to ensure your garden area is completed with the most suitable plant types and that they are laid out in the most appropriate arrangement.

 

STEP 4: Architectural Building Contract Management

Our contract administration service is designed to reduce the stress of managing your building project and ensure you are getting the best value for your investment.

4a: Source / Select Builders

We start by sourcing a number of suitably qualified builders to tender on your project (not all builders are suited to all projects) and invite each builder to tender on your project.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BUILDING CONTRACTS:

In our opinion the Master Builders Standard Residential Contract or HIA residential contract does not adequately cater for Retention, Liquidated Damages or correction of Defects. Furthermore Payments as outlined within this agreement are not in line with what we would recommend. You are not obligated to sign a Master Builders Standard Residential Contract. The exclusive Australian Institute of Architecture Contracts that we use at Dion Seminara Architecture on your behalf protect your interests. This is yet another way in which we add value and give our clients peace of mind.

 

4b: Tender Process & Negotiating

We negotiate with each builder to get you the best outcome in terms of price, quality and completion time.  We do not receive any kickbacks or payments from builders.  Our goal is simply to get you the best possible deal, without sacrificing quality.

As part of this phase, we will provide you with a detailed review of each tender and negotiate your building contract on your behalf.

4c: Contract Administration of the Builder

Whilst you are not obligated to have us manage your building process, there are many advantages in having us oversee the construction on your behalf.

By this stage we will have had numerous meetings with you and gained a thorough understanding of your project as well as your individual needs. Because we created your design, we are in the perfect position to manage your builder and ensure that everything is built to the correct specifications. If any challenges arise during the building process, we are able to immediately deal with these and find the most economical solution on your behalf. As part of our contract management services we will:

  • Observation inspections done on your project to ensure the highest standards are being achieved
  • Arrange and conduct site visits to assess work done and overall progress
  • Immediately relay any challenges back to you in plain English
  • Deal with any issues that arise on your behalf
  • Liaise with the builder and/or sub-contractors to ensure that you get the best possible outcome
  • Ensure that all materials used are as specified in the contract
  • Deal with all the financial affairs of your contract, including assessing payment claims and assessing all variations
  • Assess and advise on any proposed time extensions
  • Manage Withholding Retention which is a great security for you
  • Deal with any maintenance issues or faults during the maintenance period

Building can be a stressful affair, but with our contract management service we handle all of the stressful elements for you, allowing you to simply enjoy the experience.

At Dion Seminara Architecture we are committed to providing you with a complete service that will give you total piece of mind. Make an enquiry to find out how we can help you with your specific project.

dion seminara architecture | Brisbane architects committed to satisfying client living + working needs
Renovation and unique new home specialists, multi-residential & fitouts | Servicing all suburbs of Brisbane and surrounds